Everything You Never Got Around To Learning About Blue Exorcist

Blue Exorcist

Blue Exorcist (also known as Ao no Exorcist) has been around, first in manga form and then as an anime, for over a decade. With such a long series, if you didn’t get into it at the beginning, it’s hard to know where to start!

But between Blue Exorcist, Blue Exorcist: The Movie, and Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga, it’s a series worth experiencing. Here’s everything you need to know about it so you can jump in like a pro.

Who Are Rin, Yukio, Shura, And The Other Characters In Blue Exorcist?

As the manga has been going since 2011, there have been a ton of different characters who have come in and out of different arcs. But some of the most important characters in the Blue Exorcist anime are…

  • Rin Okumura – The son of Satan and a human woman, Satan sent him to live in the human world to become a good vessel for possession. When Rin found out about his parentage, he decided to become an exorcist so he could one day fight his father and protect all humankind.
  • Father Shiro Fujimoto – Rin and Yukio’s foster father figure. Father Fujimoto is a Paladin in the True Cross Order, and is arguably the single strongest exorcist alive at the beginning of the series. Satan desperately wants to possess his body, so he has to constantly mentally fight him off. He dies very early on in the series to protect Rin.
  • Yukio Okumura – Rin’s fraternal younger twin brother. Studious and kind, he’s the youngest person who ever passed the Exorcist qualification exam and ends up teaching Rin about how to be an exorcist as an instructor at True Cross Academy.
  • Shura Kirigakure – Rin’s mentor, an exorcist, and an inspector for the Vatican. She first appears pretending to be a student at True Cross Academy named Yamada, but when her identity is revealed, she becomes a teacher there instead.
  • Mephisto Pheles – An exorcist, and the chairman of True Cross Academy. He was supposed to kill Rin, but instead agreed to his proposal to become an exorcist and admitted him into the academy. It is heavily implied that he is also a son of Satan.
  • Ryuji Suguro – Rin’s rival at True Cross Academy. His home temple was destroyed by Satan during an event called the Blue Night when he was just a baby. Ever since then, he has made it his mission to become an exorcist and defeat Satan, a role he feels Rin is usurping from him.
  • Shiemi Moriyama – Another classmate at True Cross Academy who has known Yukio since childhood. Known for being particularly kind and loyal, she’s training to become a rare, specific kind of exorcist called a Tamer.

 Blue Exorcist Plot Synopsis

Blue Exorcist takes place in a world extremely similar to ours called Assiah. However, it has a parallel world in which demons live, called Gehenna. The only way to travel between worlds is by possessing someone in it, like in a ghost story, or through a ritual involving demon blood and chanting to open a “Gehenna Gate.”

Satan is the ruler of Gehenna, and he desperately wants to conquer Assiah. However, he can’t find a host in Assiah who he can reliably possess. So instead, he sends his son to Assiah to grow up into a suitable vessel for him – that son is the main character, the boy who would become the teenage exorcist Rin Okumura.

Rin has an ordinary childhood, growing up into a regular teenager, until one day he is ambushed by demons. He finds out that his father wants him to return to Gehenna so they can take over Assiah together.

But Rin doesn’t want to join his father as a demon. Instead, he decides to become an exorcist so he can one day defeat his father and protect Assiah from evil. To that end, he enrolls at True Cross Academy, and with his twin brother Yukio and his mentor Shura as his teachers, trains to one day vanquish Satan.

How Close Is Blue Exorcist To The Original Manga?

It depends on what part of it you’re looking at!

Similar to previous series like Fullmetal Alchemist, the Blue Exorcist anime came out while the manga, written and illustrated by Kazue Kato, was still ongoing. In fact, the original anime TV series aired from April until October 2011, while, as of May 2020, the manga is still ongoing.

What that means for the Blue Exorcist anime is that the characters and the setting are still pretty much the same. Most of the story arcs in the anime are also adapted from the manga source material. However, the TV show has an anime-exclusive ending arc that diverges from the manga, starting in episode sixteen.

Blue Exorcist Characters

Blue Exorcist: The Movie

After watching the first season of the Blue Exorcist anime and you want more right away, there’s also Blue Exorcist: The Movie! It was released at the very end of 2012 after A-1 Pictures, the studio that produced the TV show, realized the extraordinary popularity of the series.

Fans theorize that it takes place between episodes 19 and 20 of the first season of the Blue Exorcist TV show, although the online synopsis never makes it clear.

While it has a completely original story, the movie is notable for animating characters from the manga who hadn’t been in the first season of the anime TV show and adding in three exclusive new characters.

Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga

A reasonable question at this point would be “what is Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga?” After all, it seemed like the TV show wrapped things up pretty neatly, and the manga is still ongoing.

Sometimes called a sequel series and sometimes called a second season, Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga was released in 2017, six years after the original anime series.

Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga isn’t a reboot. Instead, the beginning of the show retcons the last nine episodes of the original anime. It then adheres more to the manga, adapting volumes five through nine, the Impure King arc, pretty closely.

Where to Watch Blue Exorcist

Since it’s such a popular series, there are actually a ton of places to watch Rin, Yukio, Shura, and all of the other characters in Blue Exorcist over here in the United States!

The first anime season can be found on Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, and FUNimation.

Blue Exorcist: The Movie currently isn’t available for streaming in the United States. Fingers crossed it gets picked up by a streaming service soon!

And Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga is available on Hulu and Crunchyroll.

If you’re looking to get into a series good enough to stick around for a significant amount of time, you can’t do better than Blue Exorcist. Fun, exciting, and just plain enjoyable, it’s worth watching at any time!

Kazue Kato, Shueisha / Blue Exorcist Committee, MBS
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